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Bloom in Tech

Author: David Bloom

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I talk with (and about) smart, innovative people about where they and their companies are headed in tech, media, entertainment, VR/AR, esports, AI, blockchain and advertising.

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51 Episodes
This week, I spent a day at the semi-annual Digital Hollywood conference, in part reconnecting with friends and business associates. After moderating a truly great panel of thoughtful people in  influencer marketing (you can watch the panel here; scroll to about the 1-hour mark in the day-long video to get to my panel),I also got a chance to watch a panel featuring the Italian astrophysicist and musician Dr. Fiorella Terenzi, then I sat down separately with her to talk about "Let's Get Astrophysical,"  the class she teaches at Florida International University and at California State University - Channel Islands. The class combines traditional astronomy with creative expressions such as music, art, fashion and dance, along with some wisdom on being entrepreneurial, and even some Internet etiquette. As part of the class, the students create what Terenzi calls a space opera, "Tommy" for the spheres. Terenzi has been crossing between hard sciences and the humanities for decades, dating back to a 1987 album for Island Records that used radio frequencies generated by stars and galaxies to create music. Now, besides her teaching, Terenzi is working on a new virtual-reality project that incorporates all five senses. Guess what Mars smells like?  This podcast is sponsored by Anchor Voice Messages Become a supporter of this podcast:
I caught up with Brian Solis, the long-time "digital anthropologist" and speaker on influencer marketing, at this week's Open Influence Summit in Los Angeles (where I also moderated a panel featuring Open Influence CEO Eric Dahan, Casting Influence CEO Tanya Bershadsky and Ensemble Digital Studios Founder Larry Shapiro). The summit was focused on influencer marketing, and that dominated Solis'  keynote conversation with Dahan. But he also talked with me about his new book, Life Scale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life. It's the result of Solis' own journey over the past year or so, dealing with a loss of focus, productivity and ease, thanks to his frenetic relationship with digital technology that he's been studying since the mid-1990s. The conference was good, my panel better and my conversation with Solis most interesting of all. Give it a listen.  This podcast is sponsored by Anchor Voice Messages Become a supporter of this podcast:
Actor and activist Edward James Olmos has created a string of iconic roles over the past 45 years, including in 'Battlestar Galactica,' 'Zoot Suit,' 'Bladerunner,' 'Miami Vice,' and 'Stand and Deliver.' My partner Andrea Vaucher and I caught up with Olmos last month at the Panama International Film Festival, at festival headquarters in the Central Hotel in the Casco Viejo, the oldest area of 500-year-old Panama City, Panama. Olmos at the festival for a 30th anniversary screening of 'Stand and Deliver,' the biopic about East Los Angeles high school math teacher Jaime Escalante. His portrayal of Escalante brought Olmos his first Academy Award nomination, though, as Olmos tells it, cobbling together the funds to get "Stand" made was one of the more unusual film finance stories ever. Olmos also introduced the festival's closing-night film, 'The Sentence,' a documentary about controversial drug-conspiracy laws in the United States. He also talked about why 'Battlestar Galactica' remains important, a decade after its last episode, as it dealt with some of the most meaningful issues ever in a television show. Other topics include what it was like growing up in wildly diverse East L.A. after WWII,  how Olmos tried, repeatedly, to turn down the role of Lt. Castillo in 'Miami Vice.'  and why he takes on roles to make a difference in his own growth and that of his community. Give a listen.  This podcast is sponsored by Anchor Voice Messages Become a supporter of this podcast:
In the category of good riddance, Instagram is experimenting with getting rid of one of its least useful metrics, the Like. I talk with Beca Alexander, President of long-time influencer-management and brand consultant Socialyte to understand more about what it means. But as far as I'm concerned, losing the like gives us a chance to move beyond the high school era of social media. In this episode, I also promise to link you to a great Medium piece on the downside of all those millions of dollars that investors put into online-media companies, and how it suckered them into giving away expensive content for free. The story can be found here, I recommend it for those who care about why hot online outlets such as Buzzfeed and Vice keep having to lay off people even amid all their perceived, well, buzz. You can read my Tubefilter column on Instagram and likes here. Perhaps less surprisingly, I recommend that too. But give this podcast a listen. My conversation with Beca covers a lot of the changes in what matters to brands in dealing with influencers on the red-hot Instagram platform. If you're in business, or advising businesses, that are on Instagram, you should take in the wisdom here.  This podcast is sponsored by Anchor Voice Messages Become a supporter of this podcast:
The  movie 'Alien' turned 40 last week, and to celebrate, Fox partnered with the creator platform Tongal to find six young filmmakers to create short video projects around the iconic film franchise. The results have been popping up the last few weeks, and on May 3, arrive on and social media (under the handle @AlienAnthology) for further viewing. I talked with Tongal founder and CEO James DeJulio about how his decade-old Santa Monica-based company surfaced hundreds of proposals for the six Alien films through a community of 170,000 creators. In all, he said,  more than 1,000 of those creators had a part in creating one or another of the shorts. Tongal and platforms like it are  one way brands and agencies are tapping into new creators and creative ideas at a time when the demand for content and options for marketing and distribution is ever-accelerating.   This podcast is sponsored by Anchor Voice Messages Become a supporter of this podcast:
I talked with actor/writer/director Emilio Estevez about his latest film, 'The Public,' set in a Cincinnati library during a brutal cold snap. The librarians are thrust into the roles of first responders and social workers, helping the homeless who come there for shelter.  And on this lethally cold night, the homeless refuse to leave at closing time, leading to a confrontation with police. Estevez produced, directed, wrote and stars in the film, alongside a great cast. And the project came about after Estevez learned of the challenges libraries and librarians face these days, and not just from technological change. Estevez and I were joined in our conversation by Rich Hull, CEO of Pongalo, the Spanish-language video service that partly backed the film. There's lots to talk about when it comes to libraries and their importance as one of the basic building blocks in democracy. Give a listen.  This podcast is sponsored by Anchor Voice Messages Become a supporter of this podcast:
We're finally seeing some of the cards being played by some of the big players in this poker game known as the streaming-video wars. Disney+ showed a lot of its hand last  week, and Apple sort of showed its plans a couple of weeks earlier. Meanwhile, Netflix continues add millions of subscribers around the globe and is actually running a functioning, highly optimized business. Disney+ almost certainly will be successful in the long term, but I suspect they'll be losing quite a bit of money in the short term. I explain why here. Give it a listen.  This podcast is sponsored by Anchor Voice Messages Become a supporter of this podcast:
Even hanging for a few days at Las Olas Resort in western Panama, one thing was pretty obvious to me about Snap's week of big news: they've only just begun to dig out the big hole Evan Spiegel and the rest of his team constructed for themselves. Yes, the company has new original shows, multiplayer games, an ad network, a much-improved Android app, some very interesting partnerships in the U.S. and abroad and more. But boy, none of this stuff is easy, and Snap has some pretty intimidating challengers, including some newer faces. In my latest podcast, recorded next to a fabulous beach in Playa La Barqueta, I talk about  what's ahead for Snapchat. Give it a listen and let me know what you think of Snap's prospects. Are you willing to invest? Think it's crazy to put money into companies controlled by their CEOs? let me know on Twitter @DavidBloom or on LinkedIn at /davidlbloom. As always, like, rate and share if you think this is good for your pals to listen to as well. I'll have some more stuff from Panama, including conversations with Edward James Olmos, the Sundance Institute and the former head of the Sundance Channel all still to come.  This podcast is sponsored by Anchor Voice Messages Become a supporter of this podcast:
A suit in federal court  is challenging whether Donald Trump, as the most Twitter-reliant president yet, can legally block people from his feed. At the same time, Twitter may start flagging Trump posts that violate its policies, and adding notes to explain why. All this conversation  prompts a question about what social media would be like if we all had  to take  responsibility for the stuff we post on social media, and what the Internet might be like. Give a listen, then let me know what you think.  This podcast is sponsored by Anchor Voice Messages Become a supporter of this podcast:
Apple made a lot of big announcements this week, many of which sounded a lot like what Amazon is doing in games, reading material and video, alongside their rather similar music and audio initiatives. Just as importantly, the Apple-Amazon approach strongly contrasts with the data-milking approach of Facebook and Google, a point that Tim Cook subtly made throughout Monday's presentations.  This podcast is sponsored by Anchor Voice Messages Become a supporter of this podcast:
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